Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Less Sentimental Picture

On Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 11:06 am by M. in , ,    No comments
It's the 202nd anniversary of Branwell Brontë (and the Brontë Babe Blog posts about 'Branwell's misery') and our 5036th newsround.

The Stuff (New Zealand) on popular baby names down under:
What would you guess was the most popular name for baby girls in New Zealand last year?
I'll give you a clue. It goes with Brontë.
Emily? Nope, that was the eighth most popular. The top spot went, for the second year in a row, to Charlotte.
Charlotte Brontë, of course, wrote Jane Eyre, while her younger sister Emily gave us Wuthering Heights. But if the popularity of their names – Emily is consistently in the top 10 – is due to the renaissance of the 19th century English novel, you might expect Jane to be in demand as a girl's name too. (Karl Du Fresne)
TES mentions some of the projects of the National Literacy Trust:
In response to the report’s findings, the National Literacy Trust has launched two new projects with the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) to give less disadvantaged pupils more opportunities to meet authors.
One project, Young City Poets, will take pupils from 16 primary and secondary schools in Bradford on a cultural visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, former home of the Brontë sisters, to inspire them to write their own poetry. (Catherine Lough)
The Outline explains why boarding schools produce bad people and great novels:
The school story has been around since the 19th century, when it chronicled the austere, single-sex boarding schools of the U.K., and focused on the pursuit of Christian virtues. In Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days, boys become men by vanquishing bullies and triumphing on the cricket pitch. Jane Eyre’s Lowood Institution painted a less sentimental picture, with its freezing dormitory, cruel and unusual punishments, and typhus outbreak. (Ethan Davison)
The Guardian explores the cheap imitations of Dickens novels published by Edward Lloyd:
“When we think of the 1840s, we think of the publication of major novels such as Jane Eyre and Vanity Fair,” says McWilliam. “The reality is that many readers were as likely to be consuming shockers issued by Lloyd, such as Ada the Betrayed.” (Alison Flood)
The Epoch Times is concerned about birth dearth:

In “Is Motherhood Falling Out of Fashion?” Annie Holmquist, editor of Intellectual Takeout, applauds the motherly instincts of the teacher Miss Temple in “Jane Eyre,” but then wonders whether those instincts are disappearing from our society. She concludes with these words: (Jeff Minick)
“Today’s headlines suggest that many are increasingly worried about the fertility decline. If we are to fix this, do we need more young women with motherly desires and tendencies like Miss Temple? And in order to gain those young women, do we first need to convince them that motherhood is a worthy and noble vocation, not eclipsed by one rewarded by paycheck and prestige?” 

Being a black woman in Cambridge at Grazia Daily:
She recalls the frustration of studying the industrial revolution without her lecturer acknowledging that it was supported by slavery. In literature, she adds, ‘You’re probably going to study more Brontë sisters than black women in your academic lifetime.’ In 2017, data showed that British universities employ more black staff as cleaners, porters and receptionists than they do as lecturers, and this has a knock-on effect. (Hattie Crisell)
Stylist enjoys the works of Judith Krantz and the Brontës:
My parents had permitted and encouraged my love of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters (Anne, Emily and Charlotte), and any book that was part of the classic canon. The heroines I’d met were plucky and principled. I’d read plenty of books that told me that strained circumstances were character building, and that it was better to be poor, earnest and humble than a dreaming arriviste. (Daisy Buchanan)
Moje Vrijeme (Croatian) quotes Saša Broz reminiscing about her visits to Brijuni with her grandfather, no other than Josip Broz,Tito:
Redateljica je kazala i kako je često s djedom odlazila na kupanje. Na Brijunima je dnevni raspored uključivao šetnje, ponekad i s velikim književnikom Miroslavom Krležom i suprugom Belom. “Uzela bi Jane Austen ili sestre Brontë, sjela bih ispod nekog drveta i satima bih čitala i maštala.”  (Translation)
The love of reading in Analítica (Spain):
Novelas de romance. De amplia aceptación dentro del universo de lectores, desde tiempos remotos las novelas románticas contienen historias en donde el amor y todo tipo de sentimientos conexos representan el tema central de la obra, mediante profusas descripciones de las emociones de los protagonistas enamorados, pasiones, encuentros y desencuentros, que buscan generar distintos sentimientos en el lector, que se identifica o no con los personajes presentes en la novela. Un clásico del género es Cumbres Borrascosas, de la escritora británica Emily Brontë. (Translation)
The Indian New Express and book covers:
Studies show you only have eight seconds to persuade the reader to take a chance on your book. How do you make it count? The answer lies in the book cover. It is not surprising that some readers buy a book just for the uniqueness of its cover. It is why my wife has often bought multiple copies of the same Agatha Christie book, especially vintage editions. Classics like Gone With The Wind, Pride And Prejudice, and Wuthering Heights are often released with new covers. (VR Ferose)
Bustle includes a Jane Eyre quote among a selection of wedding readings from classic literature.
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The Oxford Shakespeare Company premieres a new production of Wuthering Heights, today in Castle Howard, York:
Oxford Shakespeare Co. presents
Wuthering Heights
Adapted by April de Angelis
Directed by Michael Oakley
Original Music by Pete Flood
Castle Howard, York   ---  June 26th-30th
The Gardens of Wadham College, Oxford --- 2nd July, 17th August

In an exciting new venture, the team behind Lamplighter’s unanimously acclaimed The Life and Times of Fanny Hill, join the OSC to co-produce April de Angelis’ striking stage adaptation of Emily Brontë’s spell-binding Wuthering Heights.One of the most powerful love stories ever written by the great feminist writer of her age is brought to the stage by our leading feminist playwright.
April will be casting fresh eyes on her original text, originally commissioned by Birmingham rep in 2008 alongside director Michael Oakley (As You Like 2014 It and Private Lives 2018 for OSC) and composer Pete Flood (formerly of folk sensation Bellowhead) who both achieved excellent reviews for their work on Fanny Hill.Perhaps the most (in)famous romance in the literary canon this superlative tale of love and revenge - the tempestuous relationship of Heathcliff and Cathy from children to thwarted adults - is a timeless icon that continues to captivate audiences young and old to this day.
When Mr Earnshaw brings home the young “dark eyed boy” from unknown origins nobody is prepared for the astonishing relationship that unfolds between him and Earnshaw’s daughter Catherine – unleashing a tumult of passion affecting generations to come.This fast-moving exhilarating adaptation shows us that true love knows no bounds and holds the ordinary world in contempt.
April de Angelis is a highly acclaimed feminist playwright. Lamplighter are thrilled to be working with her again after the success of The Life and Times of Fanny Hill starring Caroline Quentin at Bristol Old Vic (touring 2021), one of the theatre’s fastest ever selling shows with a record number of first-time bookers under 30. The OSC are famous for their open air and site-specific productions in exceptional historic venues including Hampton Court and Kensington Palaces and the Tower of London.
It is with great pleasure then that their new co-production of this timeless Yorkshire classic will premiere at Castle Howard, the county’s finest stately home.
Via Yorkshire Business

EDIT: The York Press adds:
To prepare for presenting this account of Emily Brontë’s tempestuous story of the free-spirited Catherine and the dark, brooding Heathcliff on the wild, windswept Yorkshire moors, Charlotte headed to Castle Howard with April and Michael in March. “We first thought about the Walled Garden, but then we thought, ‘if you’re going to do an open-air theatre show, let the audience see the grounds, that lovely vista of Castle Howard’,” says Charlotte.
“We’ll be keeping the audience in one place, rather than moving around, as Oxford Shakespeare Company like to do immersive pieces where the actors are close to the audience, doing a very dynamic, fast-moving piece of theatre with the actors creating the environment from the setting and very few props.”
April was keen to experience Castle Howard at first hand before revising her script. “She said, ‘if you’d like me to look at the adaptation afresh, I want to adapt it for a Yorkshire setting for a Yorkshire story by having a look around first,” recalls Charlotte. “The reason is, when there’s no ‘fourth wall’ for outdoor theatre, there needs to be more direct contact with the audience to whip the action along.” (Charles Hutchinson)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Telegraph and Argus reports that the Anne Stone, the final stone in the historic Brontë Stones Project, has now been installed in Parson’s Field, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth.
The installation marks the completion of the Brontë Stones Project, which launched to international acclaim in 2018.
It features new works by four of the most inspirational writers of our time; Kate Bush, Carol Ann Duffy, Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay.
The project was commissioned by Bradford Literature Festival and funded by Arts Council England and Provident Financial Group.
The Anne Stone has been installed in Parson’s Field - a meadow behind the Parsonage, which is free to access during Parsonage opening hours.
Ms Kay will unveil the stone at a unique launch event, which will take place at the Brontë Parsonage Museum on Sunday, July 7, the closing day of this year’s Bradford Literature Festival.
The launch event will also mark the culmination of the festival's annual weekend of celebratory events exploring the Brontë family, and look ahead to the Anne Brontë bicentenary year in 2020.
In the hometown of the Brontë sisters, visitors will hear about why Ms Kay chose to respond to Anne’s work in particular, where she found the inspiration for her own piece, and what her involvement in this iconic project means to her.
Syima Aslam, director of Bradford Literature Festival, said: “It has been a huge privilege to curate and deliver the Brontë Stones project.
“The Brontës are an integral part of the literary landscape of Bradford, and the inspiration for our annual Brontë Heritage strand of events.
“Unveiling the stone bearing Jackie Kay’s magnificent ode to Anne Brontë feels very much like bringing Anne ‘home’ to the Parsonage, and is a great honour for Bradford Literature Festival.
“We hope that the public will enjoy Jackie’s words in the serene beauty of Parson’s Meadow, looking over the landscape that meant so much to the Brontës, for many years to come.”
Michael Stewart, project originator said: “I first conceived of the Brontë Stones project in October 2013.
“I live in Thornton and have long wanted my village to receive recognition for its place in the Brontë story.
“All three literary sisters and their wayward brother were born here. They were a happy family, but very shortly, after their move to Haworth in 1820, tragedy struck.
“First the death of their mother, then the two oldest siblings. I was also aware that Anne Brontë was buried in Scarborough many miles from the rest of her family and I wanted a stone to mark her return.
“It’s fantastic to see the project come to fruition.”
Kitty Wright, Executive Director of the Brontë Society said: “We are thrilled to be playing a part in this exciting project and are delighted that the Anne Stone will be situated in the grounds of the Parsonage, where Anne spent almost all of her life.
“Haworth and the Yorkshire landscape are of immense significance to the Brontë story and we are sure local residents and visitors will enjoy making their way along the Brontë Stone trail for years to come.
“We look forward to building on our partnership with Bradford Literature Festival as together we continue to celebrate the legacy of Anne and her sisters.” (Nathan Atkinson)
Here's Jackie Kay's poem for it, which is beautiful:
These plain dark sober clothes
Are my disguise. No, I was not preparing
For an early death, yours or mine.
You got me all wrong, all the time.
But sisters, I will have the last word,
Write the last line. I am still at sea.
But if I can do some good in this world
I will right the wrong. I am still young.
And the moor’s winds lift my light-dark hair.
I am still here when the sun goes up,
Still here when the moon drops down.
I do not now stand alone.
Book Riot recommends The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins as one of '15 New Historical Fiction Reads to Pack For Your Summer Vacation'.
 The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
Setting: Jamaica and England, 19th century
This historical thriller may remind you of Alias Grace and Jane Eyre, but it has a brilliance that’s all Collins’s own. When scientist George Benham and his wife Marguerite are murdered, their servant Frannie Langton is accused. It’s a scandalous case, with troubling testimony against Frannie. But Frannie herself can’t remember what happened that night. Instead, she tells the story of her childhood on a plantation in Jamaica, where she was enslaved by a brutal scientist, and how she came to England and started working for George and Marguerite. The truth of Frannie’s past and a forbidden relationship threaten to expose the crimes at the heart of all English society. (Kathleen Keenan)
Here comes the blunder of the day, courtesy of Cosmopolitan's selection of 'The 10 Best Psychological Thriller Movies of All Time', which includes
Oh, hi again, Alfred Hitchcock. This movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture and it’s easy to see why. Rebecca leans into the whole “haunted memory of a dude’s first wife low-key haunts his new wife” trope (similar to Jane Austen’s Jane Eyre!), and the plot is absolutely wild. (Mehera Bonner)
Brontë Babe Blog finds Brontë inspiration behind the novel Mr. R. by Tracy Neis.
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An alert for today, Juen 25 in Firenze, Italy:
Centinaia di inverni
La vita e le morti di Emily Brontë
Edizioni Jo March
Collana: Christopher Columbus
ISBN: 9788894142884

In un potente romanzo, la vita dell'immortale Autrice di Cime tempestose, come non era mai stata scritta. Per sfiorare l'insondabile profondità dell'essere attraverso la voce indomita della brughiera.
Tuesday, June 25, 18.00
Libreria IBS+Libraccio Firenze (Via de' Cerretani, 16)
Insieme all’autrice sarà presente Edoardo Rialti.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019 10:56 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
Rolling Stone (Germany) reviews the concerts at the Hurricane Festival 2019 in Scheeßel, Germany:
Mumford & Sons: Atmosphärischer Ruhepol
Wuthering Heights“-Barfuß-Frauen tanzen mit ausgebreiteten Armen auf dem wirbelnden Staub vor der Forest Stage – Mumford & Sons geben sich seit „Delta“ auch mit atmosphärischeren Klängen zufrieden, solange sie damit einen Kontrapunkt zum Banjo-Kontrabass-Folk-Sound schaffen. (Kristina Baum) (Translation)
Rosario3 (Argentina) recommends some books for the summer:
En El pequeño libro de las santas feministas, la escritora y periodista Julia Pierpont y la artista Manjit Thapp combinan biografías breves, con retratos mujeres “que sacudieron la tierra, rompieron techos e hicieron explotar los moldes”.
Entre ellas, se encuentran Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, Isadora Duncan, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama, Sappho, Nina Simone, Las hermanas Brontë, Victoria Ocampo, Simone de Beauvoir, Sojourner Truth, Sonia Sotomayor, Delmira Agustini, Emily Dickinso. y Margaret Hamilton. (Maricel Bargeri) (Translation)
Efe Eme (Spain) interviews the musical duo Fangoria:
Carlos H. Vázquez: Pero tenéis canciones que hablan de la traición: “La sombra de una traición”, “El arte de decir que no”, “Basura”, “Jason y tú”…
Nacho Canut: Sí, pero porque son de divas rabiosas. Es todo exagerado.
Alaska: Piensa que Cumbres borrascosas o Dinastía son nuestras referencias. (Translation)
Kiszó (Hungary) focuses on a local Brontëite. Always Time for Theatre reviews the Leeds performances of the Heartbreak Productions of Wuthering Heights. AnneBrontë.org posts about Thomas Tighe And The Importance Of Kindness
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A poetic alert for today, June 24, in Hebden Bridge
Patience Agbabi
25th June
​Hebden Bridge Town Hall
Doors 7.30pm

Celebrated poet and performer Patience Agbabi reads from her new collection of Emily Brontë inspired poems.
One of the UK’s foremost poets, Patience Agbabi has spent over 20 years celebrating the written and spoken word and her poetry has been featured on radio and TV worldwide. Active on the literature and arts scene, she was on the Council of Management for Arvon from 2009 to 2016.
Her poem, ‘The Doll’s House’, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2014. She studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University, and is a former Poet Laureate of Canterbury.

The author of four books, her latest, Telling Tales (Canongate, 2014), is a vivid retelling of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales for the 21st century and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry 2014 and Wales Book of the Year 2015.
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A music alert for today, June 24:
Jane Eyre Re-imagined
by Didsbury Arts Festival
Emmanuel C of E Church
6 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 6TR, United Kingdom
Monday, 24th June 13:00 - 14:00

An imaginative music and spoken-word performance inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Initially created for the Equator Women of the World Festival in London, Shion Duo (Mana Shibata, oboe & Suling King, piano) and actress Rebecca Kenny will be performing works by Clara Schumann, Melissa Douglas and Jean

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday, June 23, 2019 11:03 am by M. in , ,    No comments
The Paris Review talks about Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre ballet:
In her new ballet Jane Eyre, Cathy Marston manages to bring both an admirable feminist stance and an interior literary consciousness to the stage. I saw the show opening night at American Ballet Theatre, with Devon Teuscher as the older Jane and James Whiteside as Edward. The story is told in a deftly rendered flashback, ending with the romantic meeting of Rochester and Jane. But Marston’s choreography feels so contemporary and unconventional for a love story set in the past. She builds her scenes through gestural movements and a simple vocabulary that makes the show feel anything but balletic. Teuscher and Whiteside are mesmerizing together; their startling intimacy and fluidity make the show worth seeing. Marston builds their evolving relationship using choreography at turns grand (a series of counterbalances, acrobatic lifts, and extensive floor work) and understated (mimed gestures and facial expressions). With this modern tone and Brontë’s innovative narrative, Marston shifts classical ballet’s suggested gender roles, allowing a full range of movement and emotion to her female characters. The ballet is refreshing in its strength and unpredictability. (Camille Jacobson)
St Louis Dispatch-Today reviews the new Kate Atkinson novel, Big Sky:
Among Crystal’s responsibilities is her eccentric teenage stepson, Harry, who makes a lot of jokes about cheese and helps to fill in some of her intellectual shortcomings. When Harry compares someone to Mr. Rochester (of “Jane Eyre”), Crystal asks, “Is he a teacher at your school?” Harry has a couple of part-time jobs, among them one at a theater where he becomes a close friend of the drag queen Bunny Hopps. (Helen T. Verongos)
One-hit-wonders in The Independent:
Then there are the authors who are one-hit wonders, publishing only one bestselling novel: J D Salinger followed Catcher in the Rye in 1951 with only short stories and novellas, and after Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there was nothing from her – but when you write a classic, as Emily Brontë did with Wuthering Heights in 1847, its enduring appeal begs the question: does it matter if there’s another novel after it? (Charlotte Cripps)
The Times of Northwest Indiana thinks that Heathcliff is desperately in need of a touch of Queer Eye:
"Wuthering Heights"' Heathcliff, the classic literary bad boy, is handsome and hopelessly in love with Catharine, but could use quite a bit of inner growth. He carries a seed of resentment inside of him because Catharine chooses to marry someone more affluent and Catharine's brother tries to make Heathcliff perform heavy labor on Thrushcross Grange.
In getting even with the people who hurt him in the past, Heathcliff becomes toxic and hurts his heir and himself in the process. Coaching him to move on from people who don't accept him for who he is, Karamo could help him let go of his anger and channel his determination into more productive forms.
Also, Catharine and Heathcliff may dramatically claim to share a single soul but money and years of festering anger would not factor into any healthy and loving relationship between true soulmates. (Rebecca Proulx)
The Sunday Times discusses 'tartan noir' at the Edinburgh Book Festival:
Scotland’s crime writers appear in no mood to lay off the blood spatter. Stuart MacBride will appear at an event entitled La Scotia Nostra with the 12th novel in his Inspector Logan McRae series. His latest book opens with the disappearance of an anti-independence campaigner, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind.
“Crime fiction is the most-read genre in the UK, possibly the world, so it’s not surprising the festival has crafted its programme to give more people the opportunity to attend events about it,” said MacBride.
“They’re not daft. Sadly, there remains a lot of ill-informed snobbery that believes you can judge the literary merits of a book by its subject matter.
“Much of [Charles] Dickens is crime fiction. Then there’s Fyodor Dostoevsky, Emily Brontë, Victor Hugo, Robert Louis Stevenson — are these writers to be considered sub-standard now?”
He added: “Perhaps we should all get down off our extremely high horses and let people enjoy things.” (Tim Cornwell)
Deccan Chronicle reviews The Doll Factory by Elizabeth MacNeal:
You can take the novel as it is or make it far richer for yourself with a few trips to Google. So worth it, when you discover that some of the famous writers who attended the Great Exhibition at Hyde Park included Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, Alfred Tennyson and William Makepeace Thackeray. (Rupa Galub)
Palatinate discusses the teaching of literature:
Yes, Of Mice and Men has become something of a Twitter joke from the GCSE syllabus and a revolutionary novel like Jane Eyre has been dissected many a time to uncover that it’s not really the feminist tale it professes to be, but we’re still discussing them. Whether we realise it or not, the novels and plays we’re forced to engage with for a year, make much more of an impact than those to which we make a fleeting visit. (Shauna Lewis)
La Opinión de Málaga (Spain) reviews the essay Los enemigos del traductor by Amelia Pérez de Villar
Bien lo sabe una profesional entusiasta y curtida como Amelia Pérez de Villar, narradora de sus propias fabulaciones y narradora también del lenguaje de otros construidos de silencios y de pausas, de peculiaridades y ritmos, de semánticas y atmósferas, que ella hace suyas y en cierto modo de ellos y de ellas: Emily Brontë, Kipling, Edith Wharton, Stevenson del que leí sus cuentos reunidos en Tusitala, y también sus ensayos, resueltos maravillosamente por esta escritora Alicia que lleva más de 25 años pasando al otro lado del espejo del lenguaje de lo literario, hurgando en qué hay dentro de una palabra y de qué manera hacerla suya: aproximándose, puliéndola, recreándola, sustituyéndola, reescribiéndola. (...)
Su inicio de traductora con Pink Floyd; el influjo magistral de Esther Benítez; el duro reto con Cumbres Borrascosas; la reivindicación de las traductoras que dignifican los best seller como Los juegos del hambre; las relaciones con los editores; la importancia de los diccionarios, y acerca de cómo el traductor sucesivamente también va traduciéndose a sí mismo, ganando en mirada, en capacidad de ganarle al texto los momentos conflictivos de pelea. (Guillermo Busutil) (Translation)
And in the same journal a review of an exhibition of the photographer Berenice Abbott:
Pero sin duda, el mundo Abbott es el Nueva York que nació a su esplendor en 1930. Nadie como la chica que soñó con ser Jane Eyre y aprendió con Man Ray las técnicas y la precariedad del oficio, lo documentó desde la instantaneidad de la realidad y su conciencia, y la mirada arquitectónica.  (Guillermo Busutil) (Translation)
Página 12 (Argentina) highlights the work of the Argentinian illustrators/comic authors Julia Inés Mamone (aka Femimutancia) and Daniela Ruggeri:
Aunque su trabajo empezó a circular hace poco gracias a la revista Clítoris, las antologías LGBTI y Poder Trans de la Editorial Municipal de Rosario, y libros como el autoreditado Alienígena, reconoce que nunca fue precisamente lectorx de historietas y que sus influencias a la hora de narrar vienen más de la literatura y la música. Por ejemplo, del grupo punk Las Grasas Trans o de los libros de Daphne du Maurier y Emily Brontë. (Translation)
Es seguidora de Beto Hernández, las hermanas Brontë, Tintin y Charles Dickens, principales referencias para sus historias, que hablan de la infancia y la memoria, y transcurren en barrios y lugares semi-urbanos. (Translation)
La Tercera (Chile) celebrates the 70th anniversary of Simone de Beauvoir's Le Deuxième Sexe:
La erudición de la autora francesa en este libro es deslumbrante: se pasea por toda la historia de las mujeres, muestra cómo la ha estudiado la biología, la antropología, da vuelta los textos de Marx, de Freud, de Hegel y, algo que yo rescato especialmente, va a buscar pistas también a la literatura (desde la medieval, pasando por Emily Brontë o la misma Woolf).  (Andrés Gómez Bravo) (Translation)
In the obituary of the writer Dr Enver Sajjad in Dawn (Pakistan) there's an anecdote related to a film version of Wuthering Heights. A radio programme discussing Wuthering Heights in Rete Due (Switzerland):
Cerchiamo di entrare in contatto con i protagonisti del romanzo, la capricciosa Cathy e il ‘selvaggio’ Heathcliff, insieme a Francesca Orestano, professoressa ordinaria di letteratura inglese all’Università Statale di Milano. Parliamo di cinema con la giornalista e scrittrice Simonetta Caminiti, di situazione sanitaria nell’Inghilterra del XIX secolo con Giorgio Appolonia, e del presente e futuro delle sorelle Brontë con Maddalena De Leo, responsabile della Sezione italiana della Brontë Society.
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A course starting today at the University of California, Santa Cruz:
Reimagining Jane Eyre and Great Expectations: Teaching Literature through Adaptation
An NEH Summer Seminar for School Teachers
Project Director(s) Marty Gould
Visiting Faculty Lingerr Senghor; Shelley Karren; Alexa Garvoille; Paul Story; Jacqueline Barrios
Grantee Institution University of California, Santa Cruz
Funded through the Division of Education Programs
Location Santa Cruz, CA
Dates June 23, 2019 - July 12, 2019 (3 weeks)

Using two case studies–Jane Eyre and Great Expectations–this three-week seminar explores various ways teachers can use literary imitations to engage students in the processes of engaged reading and creative expression. Drawing on cutting-edge scholarship, the seminar showcases the ways in which the informed study of adaptations can enhance the development of core skills in the areas of critical reading, analytical reasoning, argumentative writing, and creative production. By bringing adaptations into the classroom conversation, teachers can promote active literacy, encouraging students to speak not only about but also to the texts they study.

Two of the most frequently adapted novels of the nineteenth century, Jane Eyre and Great Expectations are ideal sites for our investigation: these are first-person narratives about self-making, of confronting and reconstructing images of oneself, and of grappling with multiple potential versions of one’s life.

At their core, these texts are about how our life’s ambitions are formed, how we develop self-awareness, how we express our identities, and how we empathize and communicate with those unlike us, lessons essential to the formation of self-aware and ethically responsible citizens of a diverse society.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The latest episode of The History Chicks podcast is devoted to Charlotte Brontë:
After a life of starts and stalls trying to find a way to support themselves, Charlotte Brontë and her sisters Emily and Anne finally hit on the career that paired their lives of heartbreak, horrors, love, and challenges with their vivid imaginations (and a heavy dose of Lord Byron.)
We focus on Charlotte in this episode, but we couldn’t tell her story without a heavy assist by her sisters.
Matt Haig in The Guardian:
The book I’m most ashamed not to have read
I am never ashamed not to have read a novel. Reading isn’t a duty. I have never read a single Jane Austen novel all the way through though. I don’t really “get” Austen the way I get, say, the Brontës. I suppose it’s like Oasis versus Blur. Also War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I am waiting for a free year to come up.
Keighley News Memory Lane reminisces about the time when the Parsonage was gifted to the Brontë Society:
The parsonage in Haworth opened its doors as the Brontë Parsonage Museum on August 4, 1928.
The house was built in the 1770s as a place of residence for the minister at the adjacent St Michael and All Angels Church.
It was occupied by the Brontë family from 1820 to 1861.
The building was gifted to the Brontë Society by Sir James Roberts in 1928 and the society moved its museum from the upstairs of what was the tourist information centre at the top of Main Street, in Haworth.
The extension to the rear of the building (that now houses the ticket office and shop) was added in the late 1950s and the entire roof was replaced in 1976.
Images are provided by Keighley and District Local History Society. Information is compiled by chairman Joyce Newton and archivist Tim Neal. (Alistair Shand)
The Telegraph reviews the book Anglican Women Novelists, edited by Alison Shell and Judith Maltby:
The novelist P D James “writes about prayer the way the Victorians wrote about sex, with the utmost delicacy and indirection.” This well phrased observation comes in an essay by Alison Shell in a new collection that she has edited with Judith Maltby called Anglican Women Novelists.
It looks at 13 writers ranging from Charlotte Brontë to Rose Macaulay and Barbara Pym. P D James’s forerunner as a detective novelist, Dorothy L Sayers, is there too, and Iris Murdoch, categorised as “Anglican Atheist”. (Christopher Howse)
Sheila Hancock, who back in 2015 hosted Perspectives: The Brilliant Brontë Sisters, shows again her Brontëiteness in the Daily Express:
Comparing her love with John to Emily Brontë’s heart-wrenching lovers Cathy and Heathcliff, she told The Radio Times: “Emily writes extraordinarily about the depth of Cathy and Heathcliff’s desperation, with him actually grabbing her body as she’s dying to try to stop her going, as it were. (Kaisha Langton)
Eastern Daily Press retraces a visit to Switzerland in the fifties:
I was almost tempted to treat myself to a copy of Wuthering Heights as a reminder of how hard it can be to go up in the world. Then I realised good old Eric Ambler had already summed up my experiences in Journey into Fear, Cause for Alarm and The Dark Frontier. (Keith Skipper)
Diario de Mallorca (Spain) talks about Franco Zeffirelli:
Esos elementos podemos encontrarlos tanto en los guiones de sus colaboradores como en sus propias adaptaciones de William Shakespeare o en su versión de la obra cumbre de Charlotte Brontë, «Jane Eyre», en donde seguramente se encuentra, créanme, una de las declaraciones de amor más hermosas y desoladas de toda la historia del cine. (Josep Maria Aguiló) (Translation)
Letralia (Spain) and books in a brothel:
En la primera caja incluí algunas novelas de Corín Tellado, Bárbara Cartland y esas noveletas de quiosco denominadas Jazmín, Julia y Bianca. Incluí, claro, novelas de las hermanas Brontë, de Jane Austen, los Cuentos de amor, de locura y de muerte, de Quiroga, y El monje, de Matthew Gregory Lewis. Para interesarlas detallaba de los libros las partes románticas, tétricas y de horror. (Carlos Yusti) (Translation)
France Info (France) mentions an upcoming auction in Tours, France:
Hôtel des ventes Giraudeau à Tours
Livres et documents anciens 2ème partie

Lot 10:
Léon Masson
183 dessins originaux (v. 1950), à l'encre de Chine, rehaussés de lavis, exécutés en vue de l'illustration lithographiée d'une édition du roman Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë, restée à l'état de projet. Tous les dessins sont signés, et presque tous légendés avec indication de titre, du chapitre et de la page auxquels ils doivent se référer. Dim. à toutes marges : 30,5 x 24 cm. Ensemble relié en 2 vol. grand in-4, maroquin amateur avec pièces de maroquin insérées. 4 dessins (parmi les 183) ont été montés sur les plats et les contreplats. Un point de colle entre 2 ff. Notice détaillée sur demande. (Translation)
1:26 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new Emily Brontë biography has been published in Italy:
Emily Brontë
Paola Tonussi
Salerno Editrice
Collana: Piccoli saggi, 65
ISBN: 978-88-6973-382-6
June 20, 2019

Emily Brontë: il labile confine tra letteratura e realtà
Nella vita di Emily Brontë accadono pochi fatti reali, tutto accade nella sua immaginazione visionaria e nei silenzi invalicabili dietro a cui osserva l’esterno: il «mio mondo interiore» delle grandi liriche, da cui hanno origine la saga infantile scritta con la sorella minore Anne, gli stessi versi, quel romanzo unico e sconvolgente che è Wuthering Heights.
Con un attento studio delle fonti e una puntuale rilettura di corrispondenze, testimonianze e dichiarazioni di contemporanei che l’hanno conosciuta anche fuori dalla cerchia familiare, di là dal mito letterario costruito dopo la sua morte, questo libro mostra al lettore moderno la vera Emily Brontë: l’intreccio tra vicenda biografica e concezione dell’opera, l’equilibrio tra realtà e passione, l’attualità di una giovane donna che lotta per essere «se stessa» e «libera», emotivamente e spiritualmente.
La sua vita breve, difficile, estatica, ci racconta un senso di perdita, il desiderio d’amore, d’immensità e forza senza eguali. Perché Emily Brontë sussurra al nostro orecchio l’aspirazione alla felicità e il fuoco delle paure: «Con le dita sporche/d’inchiostro, sorregge mondi illimitati», ha scritto Rosie Garland. E quei «mondi illimitati» Emily Brontë ha saputo – questa biografia lo dimostra – annodarli alla terra mortale e farcene dono.
A review can be read on Linkiesta.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday, June 21, 2019 10:28 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Epic Reads recommends '17 YA Historical Fiction Books' and one of them is
8. My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, & Jodi Meadows
Give us a hilarious historical retelling any day of the week.
You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester—and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she?
Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
Intermountain Jewish News recommends a couple of non-fiction books that are right for the summer. One of them is
Literary Landscapes: Charting the Worlds of Classic Literature is more of a coffee table book, with two to three pages dedicated to the landscapes in which the world’s greatest literary tales take place. Imagine the desolate North York Moors of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Cairo’s back alleys of Naguib Mahfouz’s Midaq Alley, the lush green of the Hundred Acre Wood, home to Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends.
Edited by John Sutherland, the short essays add a dimension to understanding each novel, and the accompanying artwork transports the reader into the story.
Beware: After perusing Literary Landscapes you may be inspired to pass up that summer blockbuster mystery to revisit a favorite literary world or delve into a new one. (Shana Goldberg)
Time discusses female friendships in books:
Before the 20th century, novels about friendships between women were relatively uncommon: in the 1800s, Jane Austen explored sisterly bonds of affection and tension, and in Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë emphasized the brief but formative friendship between the heroine and her classmate Helen Burns. (Stephanie Zacharek)
Khaleej Times (UAE) asks writer Janhavi Malhotra about books:
One book you think is underrated?
Villette, one of Charlotte Brontë's lesser known works, is beautifully woven and paints the picture of a whirlwind of emotions. It is extremely powerful, in all its modesty.
Vogue comments on Caroline Polachek’s first solo music video.
At the beginning of the video for “Door”—the lead single, out today, from Caroline Polachek’s first solo album—we see the singer through a window. She’s on a tiled roof in chunky Mary Janes and thigh-high socks, looking up to the stars. Lit by moonlight, she could be the girl sneaking out of her bedroom at night in a classic ’80s high school flick, or something more literary: one of the haunted girls stalking Shirley Jackson’s Gothic novellas, or Cathy’s ghost in Wuthering Heights, tapping on the window and begging to be let in. (Didn’t another off-beat pop artist with acrobatic vocals immortalize that character once before?) (Liam Hess)
12:12 am by M. in ,    No comments
A Brontë-related chapter in a new book with an unmistakable cover:
Women from the Parsonage: Pastors’ Daughters as Writers, Translators, Salonnières, and Educatorsby Cindy K. Renker (Editor), Susanne Bach (Editor)
Publisher: De Gruyter; 1 edition (February 19, 2019)
ISBN: 978-3110587517

This volume provides a new context for women’s writing from the seventeenth through the end of the nineteenth century, highlighting the significant role of the parsonage and the parson himself for women’s education in those centuries. Cindy K. Renker and Susanne Bach's collection of essays is the first of its kind on the education, lives, and works of highly accomplished daughters of Protestant clergymen. Since this volume only represents a limited number of women raised and educated in parsonages, it will surely encourage more investigation of other women writers, translators, educators, etc. with similar backgrounds. Moreover, since this book takes a comparative and transnational approach by focusing on different regions of Europe and different centuries. This collection of essays is thus aimed at scholars in multiple fields such as British literature, German studies, gender studies, the history of women’s education, and social and cultural history.
Susanne Bach's essay has the title: "I will never have another man in his house." The Perpetual Curate Patrick Brontë and his Perpetual Daughter Charlotte (1816-1855)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday, June 20, 2019 11:03 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
The Boar discusses 'The failure of Jacob Rees-Mogg and his venture into literature'.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset, has attempted a venture into literature and has released a history book which has been lambasted by critics across the board. The Victorians: Twelve Titans who Forged Britain is a collection of biographies of twelve prominent Victorians who Rees-Mogg has deemed the most important, the most influential, and the most noteworthy figures of their era. Unfortunately for Rees-Mogg, the book and its biographies have been branded as ‘staggeringly silly’, ‘sentimental jingoism’, and ‘a dozen clumsily written pompous schoolboy compositions’.
Many have criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg for his choices in selecting the twelve eminent Victorians around whom his book centres. Only one ‘titan’ is a woman – Queen Victoria herself – and four of the twelve are prime ministers, such as Robert Peel. For a book that centres on an age of great innovation and technological advancement, it seems illogical that there is no mention of Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, or Charles Darwin – or any mathematician, scientist, or naturalist for that matter. Similarly, no consideration is given to such literary giants as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, or the Brontë sisters, despite their huge cultural and social significance for the Victorian age. (Jasmine Morris)
And yet another 'the Brontës should have been mentioned in this book' instance in the review of The Lark Ascending. The Music Of The British Landscape, by Richard King published by The Scotsman.
It’s also slightly off-key that in a book that advertises itself as being about music and landscape, there is no mention of Bush’s most famous song, Wuthering Heights, which does align itself with Emily Brontë’s novel in which the heaths on which Heathcliff stalks are, to all intents and purposes, a character in their own right. (Stuart Kelly)
However, Emily Brontë is mentioned in this excerpt from Lauren Acampora's novel The Paper Wasp shared by LitHub.
Back home, I squirreled the dress in the rear of my closet and pulled the yearbook out again. There I was: fat-cheeked and stunned in a black turtleneck, my eyes latched to a focal point somewhere over the photographer’s head. My hair hung limp, black as a carrion crow. Beneath ran the words of Emily Brontë:
I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here?I can still clean up when I need to. I’m not unattractive.There might even be something enticing about me if you look the right way, if you’re the right kind of person. My eyes are wide and yellow-hazel like a cat’s. My dark hair—jet when I dye it—is striking against my pale skin, and my patch of acne scars can be camouflaged with concealer. I’ve always been short and heavy, but the extra cushioning gives me curves. And so, looking at myself in the mirror on the day of the reunion, in the glass still gummy from old stickers, I wasn’t displeased. I put my shoulders back and posed a little. The dress was stiffer than I remembered, a little more severe, but maybe that was all right. It would be armor.
Palatinate reviews the production Minge Unhinged.
Marking the beginning of the Spare Room’s three-day festival of theatre, ‘Minge Unhinged’ is fearless, outrageous and commanding. Created by Your Aunt Fanny, an all-female comedy sketch group made up of women from the North East of England, the production offers a unique brand of comedy relentless in its’ humour.
Minge Unhinged’ is performed in the Spare Room, the Assembly Rooms Theatre’s temporary studio space. As intimate as the venue is, the audience experiences the presence of the performance with all the more intensity. Although this theatrical space is not permanent, it adds to the show’s intentions of capturing ‘a night out on the town with your wildest, oldest, filthiest friend.’
An audacious performance featuring interlinked comedic sketches, the audience is captivated with potent story-telling. From our first entrance into the Spare Room, we are met by the performers. Comfortable in the space, they laugh with one another and sing to the music playing, the audience feel as if they are sat with their own friends. The sketches introduce to the audience characters we are all too familiar with, and places the audience in situations common to many of us. From school classrooms, spoken word poetry performances and even cervical smear tests, the show is brilliant in destroying the taboo. The audience meets bold characters from history too, with a favourite moment when the Brontës appear and Branwell performs his rendition of Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’. The performance oozes boldness. The comedy sketches, in featuring scenes common to the audience and from history too, creates a feeling of universality. (Bethany Townsend)
Los Angeles Times interviews actress Ruth Wilson about her take on her grandmother's life, Mrs Wilson.
Has exploring this story so publicly changed you as a person? The memoir has had influences on my choices — subconsciously and unconsciously. She died before I went into acting, but my first big job was “Jane Eyre,” and I remember thinking her story is like that. She was a quiet, introverted woman — but also full of emotion and passion and sexuality, all trapped inside. I think I understood Jane Eyre through my grandmother. It’s made me realize that someone can be a duality of a person — you can be one way on the inside and a complete other way on the outside. We’re all made up of those things. It’s changed my life. (Randee Dawn)
Yesterday, Dissent celebrated the birthday of American film critic Pauline Kael.
Pauline loved it when people’s craziness, which is to say their individuality, their willingness to go-for-broke, came through. Which does not mean, as those who have conveniently misread her great essay “Trash, Art and the Movies” insist, that she championed trash over art. What she insisted is that any response to art that doesn’t involve pleasure is, at best, academic admiration. And she believed that good work could come from anywhere. If you can’t recognize the craziness in Wuthering Heights or in those Turner paintings where the contours of landscape give way to the massing of fog and light, how deeply, how honestly, are you responding? (Charles Taylor)
In The Conservative Woman, a man tries (and in our opinion, fails) to reply (with mansplaining overtones) to Tom Watson's recent speech about Europe.
Tom Watson then added other writers such as ‘Byron, who died fighting for Greece in their war of independence, and Mary Shelley who conceived of Frankenstein in Geneva, and Charlotte Brontë, whose novel Villette was based on her time teaching at a Brussels school and Keats, whose life and death in Rome is celebrated at the foot of the Spanish Steps. And of course of John Dryden, not just a great writer of English drama, but a great lover and student of French drama, and a translator of Virgil, Ovid, Homer, Boccaccio – the great canon of European classical literature that was the base of everything these English geniuses knew.’
Yet this works against his point that staying in the EU brings greater freedom. Europeans have always criss-crossed continents to and from Britain. Just as our writers travelled to Greece, Geneva, Brussels etc, so too was London a melting-pot of immigration, just as it is today. (Daryl Baldwin)
Pittsburgh City Paper recommends the exhibition A Sporting Vision at the Frick Art Museum.
Even so, the Frick’s chief curator and director of collections, Sarah Hall, believes the show’s appeal extends beyond dog and pony people, as the romantic scenes of English life would please any Anglophile taken with Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, or Downton Abbey. (Amanda Waltz)
Medium has a couple of Brontë-related articles: “Idiots and Maniacs Through Three Generations”: How Brontë’s Jane Eyre Champions Its Heroine at the Expense of the Colonial Other and Dating Advice for Vicars Spurned by Beautiful Women in 19th Century British Novels. Actualidad Literatura (Spain) has included both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights on a a list of the 25 best British novels of all time. Sky TG 24 (Italy) lists Jane Eyre as one of Franco Zeffirelli's films worth rediscovering. The Eyre Guide reviews André Téchiné's Les Soeurs Brontë.
1:00 am by M. in ,    No comments
An alert for today, June 20 in Halifax:
The Brontës & Halifax Parish: Links Old & New
Central Library & Archives - Halifax, Halifax, HX1 1QG
Thu 20th June 2019 6:00PM
In this illustrated lecture, David Glover will talk about Calderdale's amazing variety of little known connections with the Brontës. Did you know Charlotte bought her wedding dress in Halifax and Emily taught at Law Hill School, just outside the town? Hear about these connections and many more from this popular and knowledgeable speaker.

David Glover is a well-known local historian and President of Halifax Antiquarian Society.

12:28 am by M. in ,    No comments
A new compilation of Brontë-inspired poems has been just published:
Gondal Heights: A Bronte Tribute Anthology
Edited by Marie C. Lecivain
Publisher: Sybaritic Press (27 May 2019)
ISBN: 9781645701545

Gondal Heights contains poems, short stories, essays, and works of art inspired by the Brontës, all of which are highly engaging and personal. Whether it’s Heather Schubert’s beautiful cover art, Sarah Maclay’s gorgeous prose poem “Field of Thorns”, or Angel Uriel Perales’ moving tribute, “Branwell Brontë’s Fevre Dream Decorum”, every piece is inspired by the Brontës, either from their lives, or from their work, which, after two centuries, still influences global culture, and other art forms.
The Brontës
Emily Jane Brontë — The Old Stoic
Charlotte Brontë — The Teacher's Monologue
Anne Brontë — A Voice from the Dungeon (Patrick)
Branwell Brontë — Thorpe Green
Michelle Angelini — The First Time I Met Charlotte
Stefanie Bennett — Optus for Heart & Stone Lynne Bronstein
— Keeper Deborah Edler Brown
— Flight Charles Claymore
— It is Pronounced Marie C Lecrivain
— Don't Interrupt Me
— Emily Among the Moors Emma Lee
 — A Shiver of Moonlight Sarah Maclay
— Field of Thorns Karen J McDonnall
— Scent Matt McGee
— A Stroll Along Gondal Avenue Rita Maria Martinez
— Letters to Bertha
— St. John Rivers Pops the Question Lisa Marguerite Mora
— Bertha Mason Greg Patrick
— Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights Angel Uriel Perales
— Branwell Brontë's Fevre Dream Decorum BC Petrakos
— Branwell's World of "IT"
—Hattie Quinn — Transmutation Walter Ruhlmann
—Alexander Heather Schubert — Bildungsromans - Untitled
—Apryl Skies — Dissonance
— Barton D. Smock — Prayers for Small Jeanne Spicuzza
— Shivers with Want Mary Torregrossa — Walking Yorkshire Alicia Winski — Bertha - Jane 
Thanks to Rita María Martínez, good friend of this blog for alerting us.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Several actors share their memories of Franco Zeffirelli in The Guardian and Jeremy Irons says,
We talked about filming Wuthering Heights as we stayed with him in Positano. My wife Sinéad had just finished a film with him. He was a generous host. (Chris Wiegand)
So he would have filmed both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights if that plan had succeeded.

Homes & Property reports that the Thurland Wing of Thurland Castle is for sale (£1.1 million). But here's the thing: they turn the traumatic walks to and from church of a very young and unhappy Charlotte Brontë at Cowan Bridge into this:
Buy a castle and a Lordship:original ballroom and rose garden of Lancashire castle visited by Charlotte Brontë for sale [....]
The Jane Eyre author and art critic John Ruskin were among famous visitors to the property, nestled between the Lake District and the the Yorkshire Dales. [...]
On the edge of the village of Tunstall and nestled between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, the property is set in 10 acres of grounds that Charlotte Brontë, the author of Jane Eyre, regularly walked through. [...]
Charlotte Brontë frequently visited the house on her way to and from church while she was studying nearby in Leck. (Aneira Davies and Simon Lee)
And there's the magic of not giving a damn for actual facts for you.

Dance Enthusiast reviews Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre:
Patrick Kinmonth’s elegant set conjures the book’s gothic gloom. With scribbles and streaks careening across their dark fabric, curtains and scrims tighten the Metropolitan Opera stage to a more intimate environment. Depending on how the light hits, they suggest everything from the blackboards of Lowood (a Dickensian boarding school) to the bleak moors that Jane roams after discovering Mr. Rochester, her employer and paramour, is already married.
Spare arrangements of seating relate power to position. The schoolgirls of Lowood perch on stools, the seat of which lifts to produce a desk. At Thornfield Hall, where Jane works as a governess, an imposing chair for Mr. Rochester rests stage right. After his wife burns down the manor, leaving him blind and broken-spirited, all that remains of the chair is a burned-out metal skeleton.
If only the other elements conspired to be as haunting. Philip Feeney’s score pulls from Schubert and both Mendelssohns yet never extends beyond bland symphonic swells. Unlike the best dance music, whose melodies burrow deep inside you, this barely registers.
Marston’s choreography is equally undistinguished. Moments — the tick-tock precision of Lowood’s students as they sup and study, a posh bash of waltzing gentlepeople — do resonate. Yet they’re swept up in an endless eddy of swirling movements that all look the same. The many pas de deux between Jane and Mr. Rochester fail to capture the lovers’ ardor (too much clutching at and whirling around each other), and their “bantering” is depicted through the extension of a pointed foot at a 45° angle. Although the intent may be to indicate a sharp, candid wit, the effect is vulgar, like they want to trip someone.
In dance, a mediocre vision can be saved, even elevated, by its performers. I fear the cast I saw (there were three) demonstrated unfamiliarity with the source material. As Jane, Isabella Boylston looks the part more than she acts it, emphasizing technical flash over reeling emotion. This is better than Thomas Forster (Mr. Rochester) who performs as if he’s in an entirely different ballet. Though tall, he moves small, seldom manifesting the outsized snarl and passion of one of literature’s most romantic leads.
While many of the secondary roles last a handful of minutes, some performers imbue them with nuance and sensitivity. Playing Mr. Rochester’s deranged wife, Cassandra Trenary uses the Mary Wigman-esque gesticulations to hint at a troubled spirit worthy of our sympathy. Hee Seo appears all too briefly as the kittenish socialite Blanche Ingram; the way she inclines her head says more than any fancy phrase could. Duncan Lyle takes the zealous missionary St. John Rivers who wants to marry Jane for practical reasons and infuses him with grace.
Whether you appreciate these portrayals may depend on your ability to follow the plot, which Marston refuses to compress. With seventeen named characters, eleven scenes, and two Janes (Skylar Brandt plays Jane as a young girl), and one in media res opening, befuddlement seems inevitable. I itched to take a red pen and excise all the needless exposition because what Jane Eyre needs is more and better attention to the inner lives of its protagonists.
Jane, in particular, gets a raw deal. Instead of unpacking the heroine’s rich psychology through her actions, Marston employs a male corps called the D-Men (the D is for demons and death). The men dash around her, throw her to the floor, and hoist her skyward. Often, Jane stands motionless as they billow about, like dancing footmen in a Disney movie. (Erin Bomboy)
Book Riot has recommendations for 'Every Extroverted Myers-Briggs Type'.
Protagonists are firm believers of the people, radiating authenticity, concern, and altruism. If something needs to be said, they are the first ones unafraid to stand up and speak up. Jane Eyre is that kind of heroine. With a strong moral compass, she stands her ground even when it is the hardest thing she has to do. Her love for Mr. Rochester goes beyond obstacles in a classic romance we all love. (Laura Melgão)
Also on Book Riot, a contributor shares how Thomas Hardy helped her process trauma.
Tess immediately became one of my new favorite books. I don’t think I’ve ever related so much to a 19th century heroine, even Jane Eyre or Lizzie Bennet. Hardy’s compassion and grasp of his female protagonist’s psychology seems incredibly progressive for a male, Victorian novelist. (Grace LaPointe)
Tass asks writer Diane Setterfield about her influences:
The writers who have inspired me include the Brontës, Wilkie Collins and Dickens, but I think I learned a lot about style from French nineteenth and twentieth century writers such as André Gide. he most obvious influences are not always the deepest ones, and I frequently suspect there are echoes in my own adult books of the books I loved as a child.  Foremost among these was a beautiful ghost story about childhood loneliness called When Marnie Was There, by Joan G Robinson. 
Cambridge Network has an article on one of Charles Dickens's lesser-known works: Martin Guzzlewit.
Professor McWilliam continued: “When we think of the 1840s, we think of the publication of major novels such as Jane Eyre and Vanity Fair.  The reality is that many readers were as likely to be consuming shockers issued by Lloyd such as Ada the Betrayed.  The publisher told his illustrators, tasked with knocking out lurid pictures to accompany his publications: ‘There must be blood...much more blood!’”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland) reviews the book Die Launen der Liebe. Wahre Geschichten von Büchern und Leidenschaften by Markus Gasser.
Gassers Geschichten steigen aus einem Nebelmeer des Kitsches und der Adjektive auf. Eine «ehebrecherische Liebäugelei», ein «räudiger Februarsamstag» und «prallgliedrige Leiber» passen zu den Rasereien, unter denen Schriftsteller offenbar von Berufs wegen leiden. Man muss nur schauen, wie sie schreiben. Emily Brontë verfasst ihren Roman «Wuthering Heights» mit Herzblut und Energie: Sie «durchlöchert vor Erregung mit der Federspitze das Papier». Wenn ein Schriftsteller – in diesem Fall E. M. Foster – einmal nicht weiterweiss, dann heisst es: «Hier stockte ihm die Feder.» Ist er dagegen wie Paul Bowles schon morgens voller Tatendrang, findet Markus Gasser auch dafür die richtigen Worte: «Er erwachte mit einem ‹Yallah› auf der Zunge.»  (Paul Jandl) (Translation)
The Times goes in search of 'The best summer party dresses for 2019'. The writer says about one type:
... but that may just be because I feel like a grumpy drag-queen Bo Peep whenever I try them on — less Laura Ashley, more Wuthering Heights. (Harriet Walker)
Faintly Familiar posts about Jane Eyre 1944. Jactionary reviews Nelly Dean by Alison Case.
12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Anglican Women Novelists
From Charlotte Brontë to P.D. James
Editor(s): Judith Maltby, Alison Shell
Bloomsbury, T&T Clark
June 2019
ISBN: 9780567665850

What do the novelists Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte M. Yonge, Rose Macaulay, Dorothy L. Sayers, Barbara Pym, Iris Murdoch and P.D. James all have in common? These women, and others, were inspired to write fiction through their relationship with the Church of England. This field-defining collection of essays explores Anglicanism through their fiction and their fiction through their Anglicanism.
These essays, by a set of distinguished contributors, cover a range of literary genres, from life-writing and whodunnits through social comedy, children's books and supernatural fiction. Spanning writers from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, they testify both to the developments in Anglicanism over the past two centuries and the changing roles of women within the Church of England and wider society.
Contains the following chapters:
1. Charlotte Brontë (1816-55): An Anglican Imagination – Sara L. Pearson, Trinity Western University, Canada

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 7:50 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The New European shares the speech by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson hosted by the Centre for European Reform.
Yes, it's the nation of Shakespeare and Byron, who died fighting for Greece in their war of independence, and Mary Shelley who conceived of Frankenstein in Geneva, and Charlotte Brontë, whose novel Villette was based on her time teaching at a Brussels school and Keats, whose life and death in Rome is celebrated at the foot of the Spanish steps.
Le Parisien (France) interviews Augustin Trapenard:
Relire plusieurs fois un même livre. « On n’en parle jamais, pourtant, c’est une activité majeure. Quand on relit une oeuvre, on en fait un classique. J’ai dû lire une vingtaine de fois Les Hauts de Hurlevent, d’Emily Brontë, et, à chaque fois, j’y ai découvert une dimension qui m’avait échappé. » (Yves Derai) (Translation)
Firenze Today (Italy) has an article on the Maturità 2019 exams.
Gli anniversari. Spesso escono delle tracce sulla base delle ricorrenze storiche che hanno un particolare valore nel 2019. Il sito ne segnala diversi: [...]
7. 170 [actually 171] anni dalla morte di Emily Brontë, autrice del romanzo Cime Tempestose, Wuthering Heights, pubblicato nel 1847. Il romanzo è conosciuto come una delle opere più importanti del romanticismo inglese in cui l'autrice mette in luce l'oscurità dei personaggi e il rapporto di questi con la natura. (Translation)
Craven Herald & Pioneer features the end of year show of Craven College.
Work by fine art students cover themes including ‘mental health’, ‘secret garden’, and ‘disused railways’; while theatrical and make up students present a ‘cabinet of hands’ and a ‘Jane Eyre Collection of Wigs’. (Lesley Tate)
NME puts Pauline Black, lead singer of The Selecter, to the test about his own career.
8: Who once reviewed ‘On The Radio’ on Radio 1 and compared your vocals to ‘Wuthering Heights’?“Well, that’s easy isn’t it? Kate Bush!”
CORRECT. (Gary Ryan)
12:30 am by M. in    No comments

An alert for today, June 18, in Stockton-on-Tees:
Crossing the Tees
The Book Festival for the Tees Valley

History Wardrobe Presents: All Writers Great and Small
Date: Tuesday - 18 June
ARC Stockton Arts Centre
Redcar Library
Time: 7.00pm - 9.00pm

History Wardrobe Presents “All Writers Great and Small”. A celebration of Northern authors, from the Brontës to James Herriot (and a lot of other good ones in between). Historian Lucy Adlington links costumes and stories in this lively literary show featuring many favourite writers, poet and dramatists.